Ralph Nader, a prominent US consumer activist, on Wednesday warned of the recent surge in Tesla’s stock and called on regulators to consider an investigation into potential insider trading. Mr Nader said he was concerned about Tesla’s stock price. Tesla sold fewer than 400,000 cars last year, but the valuation exceeds that of Volkswagen and General Motors combined. “
He believes the Securities and Exchange Commission should protect investors at this time and investigate whether there is insider trading, potential market manipulation and so on.
Nader did not provide evidence of insider trading. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tesla’s shares have risen more than 70 percent in the past month and 233 percent in the past six months as recent delivery data and better-than-expected earnings prompted Wall Street to believe the company might eventually be able to make a profit.
Tesla’s shares fell sharply on Wednesday, widening to 20 percent in the afternoon and falling below $130 billion in market value.
To be sure, Tesla’s recent surge is likely to be due to most of the company’s shorts. In fact, Tesla was the most shorted stock in the U.S. market in the last month.
But as Tesla hit record highs in January and early February, more and more shorts were forced to surrender and buy back shares, further exacerbating the rally and widening Tesla’s short losses.
Tesla lost more than $1.5 billion last week, according to S3 Analytics.